Pro Bowl wide receiver Jordy Nelson would like to practice and said he’s ready to practice after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
But coach Mike McCarthy’s word carries more weight, so Nelson will be on the sideline until the start of training camp.
“Yes, it is (difficult to not be practicing), but it’s part of the process,” Nelson said on Tuesday, the Packers’ second day of organized team activities. “Obviously, they’re doing what they need to do, I’m doing what I need to do, and we find a happy medium. We’re still working through it and progressing. It’s not a big deal. We all know what the end goal is.”
The end goal for Nelson is to be ready for the Sept. 11 season-opening contest against Jacksonville. Nelson said he has been running routes “for a while now.”
However, from the team’s perspective, there’s no reason for Nelson, who is entering his ninth season and will turn 31 next Tuesday, to rush back onto the field for live periods.
“Jordy Nelson is doing very well,” McCarthy said. “He’s right on schedule, I would say, and he’s sticking to the plan. So, I think he has to be smart in these times and just make sure we go about it the right way. We’re focusing on more individual work with Jordy Nelson than put him in the group and the combination of team environment right now.”
From 2008 through 2014, the seven seasons encompassing the start of Nelson’s career and the start of Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as starting quarterback, Rodgers-to-Nelson formed one of the NFL’s most dangerous duos. Still, after a year away from the game, Rodgers said they’ll have to work to rebuild their chemistry.
“You know, we missed a year together, so there’ll be some extra time we’ll put together working on stuff and the little nuances we’ve added and just getting familiar with body language and the break points and different things,” Rodgers said. “We’ve played a lot of football together but it’ll be important that we spend a little extra time. Whether it’s on the side when we can this summer or in training camp, we’ll make sure we put in the necessary time to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Nelson has been ahead of schedule throughout his comeback. He has no concerns that he’ll be able to hit the ground running when training camp starts in late July.
“I know what I need to do and want to do to be ready to go come training camp, and that’s where we just need to get to,” he said. “So, when I leave here at the end of the minicamp, I’m ready to go, I don’t have anything to worry about. That’s just where I want to get to, and we’ll be there. We’re not worried about that.”
While most of the team was on the field, 14 players did not practice: WR Devonte Robinson, CB Quinten Rollins, CB Sam Shields (absent), CB Randall Jette, ILB Joe Thomas, OLB Lerentee McCray, ILB Sam Barrington, C Corey Linsley, OT Kyle Murphy (school), G T.J. Lang, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Ty Montgomery, DE Dean Lowry (school), DT Kenny Clark (school).
“All the players of injury concern are making progress,” said McCarthy, who doesn’t have to discuss injuries during these voluntary practices. “I do not have any long-term concerns.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.